This post is based on Week Four of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. For this particular reflection, I’m sharing a raw journal entry. The following letter includes my thoughts right after my meditation on the birth of Jesus.
I remember approaching the three of them carefully. Baby Yeshua was sleeping. I sat with them gazing at the small miracle, and after a little while, I mustered up the courage to ask Mary: “Can I do anything?”
And Mary whispered in reply, “No, just stay awhile. He’s happy you’re here.” Continue reading…
How does one write a short blog post on the interior sin that lies deep within a person’s heart? I remember the first time I entered into this exercise, I did it with my spiritual director, Jim, and—like a good Jesuit—he kept pushing me to go deeper. He asked questions like, “Why do you act in this way?”, “What draws you to these actions and behaviors?” and, my favorite, “Is that what you really think?” Continue reading…
He continued and told me that our deepest desires were God’s desires. When I first heard this I made a weird face and thought, “Are you crazy?” I was raised and taught that being a man of faith was to believe the opposite. I was taught that my desires were of the world and not of God. Desires were a bad thing.
However, while this idea might have seemed questionable, it ended up being one of the most life-giving insights in my adult faith life. Continue reading…
“The greatest tragedy in life is to compare oneself to another.”
I made this video in a time of great transition. I kept praying for peace and I found that I was creating my own problems by comparing myself to other’s accomplishments. God was already proud of my I just failed to see it.
I hope you find some peace in this message.
My experience with Souper Bowl of Caring this year was wild. It was a huge undertaking–one where I didn’t necessarily know what I was doing, yet some of my teens encouraged me to keep going.
I made some mistakes along the way but overall, I do believe we made a positive change in the community. I’m looking forward to another great year helping those in need through our Souper Bowl of Caring.
To be quite honest, making time for prayer and meditation has always been one of my biggest struggles. For me it’s like exercising—I love the idea but it seems there is a force that keeps me glued to my couch or at my computer. It’s as if someone drugged me with fear, or even worse—the curse of being “too busy.” Yet every time I find a way out of this “curse” and into a gym, I discover more energy, more life, and more peace. (Click here to see the full reflection!)
This article was published in the Winter 2014 of The Pelican, the newsletter of North Coast Spirit TEC (Teens Encounter Christ). I was thinking about how grateful I am for the work of my intern, Jess, and I thought it was appropriate to share this article with everyone else. Thank you Jess for your endless love and support. If you are interested in making a retreat with TEC, visit www.northcoasttec.com for more information.
This past year I’ve been blessed to be working with one TECs ﬁnest leaders, Jess Yurick. Since September, Jess has been volunteering hours and hours of her time to St. Ambrose Parish as the “Youth Ministry Intern.” I can honestly say that I don’t know where our youth ministry program would be without her. She has dedicated countless hours creating spreadsheets, logging attendance, organizing permission forms, volunteers, and facilitating retreats. With the amount of work she has done, I could never ever repay her for all she has done for our teens.
Sometimes I take a step back and ask myself: What inspires someone to be so dedicated to spreadsheets, permission forms, and parent phone calls? The answer is Jesus. Jess Yurick is so profoundly, head-over-heels in love with Jesus and it is down right contagious. Sometimes parish ministry can get the best of you. You get so lost in the logistics and details that you forget the beautiful work that you’re engaged in. Jess’ simple enthusiasm never failed to remind me of the bigger mission of all our work. She has been one of my biggest blessings and has also been one the biggest blessings to our TEC community.
One of the most inspiring parts of Jess’ witness is her aching desire to do whatever God wants her to do. Jess’ calendar is booked. But it is a calendar that she has booked for the Lord. Whether its working in the Youth Ministry ofﬁce, teaching PSR, teaching conﬁrmation prep, leading a TEC, or going to Eucharistic Adoration–Jess listens
and follows the Lord’s call. I may not be sure of where exactly God will lead her in the future but I do know that Jess is listening and doing her best to serve the Lord.
So thank you Jess Yurick. I’m so blessed to know you and work at your side. You are an authentic disciple of Jesus and I hope I can live more like you. My continued prayer is that you continue to grow closer to Jesus, our God and lover. You are an inspiration for all of us.